Written by The Dominator
The Minnesota Vikings are primed to have a very good season in 2020. They have a solid offense, an improved defense, and Minnesota had one of the best drafts in the league. A few weeks ago, I did a preview of the NFC North and I picked the Vikings to win the division due to what I put above and also the fact that the Packers had the worst draft in the league. My prediction may have been made a bit more difficult as running back Dalvin Cook has announced that he will not participate in team-related activities until he receives a contract extension.
Cook is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make $1.3 million this season but the star running back feels that he is next in line for a new deal. Since 2014, the Vikings have handed out extensions to the likes of Kyle Rudolph, kicker Blair Walsh, head coach Mike Zimmer Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Linval Joseph, and Stefon Diggs. Cook says that it is his time now.
Cook had injuries issues in his first two seasons in the league and he did miss two games last year, which does make him a bit of a risk as far as getting a lucrative contract but still, I feel keeping him on the field is worth the risk. Last year, cook finally showed what he is capable of by rushing for 1165 yards and 13 TDs while also hauling in 53 receptions for 519 yards. Remember that he did miss two games last year or those numbers would have been a bit better. His 1654 total yards last year were the 10th best in Vikings history. He is a lockerroom leader and is one player that the Vikings cannot afford to lose.
If Cook does not play at the beginning of the season, then the running back duties will fall on Alexander Mattison, who the Vikings took in the 3rd round a year ago. Mattison played in 13 games a season ago and he rushed for 462 yards and a TD in his time on the field. He is a solid running back and could be a starter on some teams, so it was a good pick for Minnesota last year.
The Vikings were 6th in the league in rushing last year, compared to 23rd in passing, so they do need Cook on the field, despite the fact that Mattison has plenty of upside. Cook will get that ground attack going and that will open up the passing game for Kirk Cousins, who does need extra help now that they have lost Stefon Diggs to the Bills. After seeing Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers) ink a four-year $64 million deal, Cook does feel that he is due a big deal. Cook has lost some leverage in a holdout. Because he was drafted in the second round in 2017 and not the first, plus he wasn’t offered a fifth-year option. Will the Vikings make their star running back an acceptable offer in time? We shall see and I will keep you posted.